I Am Not Walt Whitman


United States
44° 51' 1.4832" N, 68° 51' 42.7032" W

I dedicate myself to public speaking
Peaking subtly along with the days and nights and weeks and whatever comes next
Sometimes I talk too much
It’s not enough to always think after I
Open my mind up,
I have to embrace the world between the tips of my fingers
And fill my lungs up with air in order to
Listen more
Be more
Feel more
Until I have something to say that is ¬worthy of being heard
It’s not a matter of spoken word
It’s about voicing experiences
Breathing new existence into the dead past
And painting my life across an audience with my tongue as the brush
My words are the color
And everything inside of me that bubbles over when I speak with or without thought
Is my subject
I’m not claiming to be anything less than
Rough edges
Anything more than imperfect
But it’s in my imperfections that I celebrate the perfection of another individual whose name is mine, whose body is mine, who breathes when I breathe and cries when I cry
And I don’t claim to be Walt Whitman,
But Walter, I too, contain multitudes,
And I too, contradict myself,
And I too, when I give, I give myself,
Every word I speak,
Every second of every story I tell
Is a part of me,
Blown into the air like the seeds of a dandelion,
And perhaps there is hope that
When they fall,
They will sprout roots.




Thanks so much for sharing your work. I absolutely loved the refreshing enthusiasm and honesty of this piece. Your spoken video really added to it as well, and I love that you're working in mixed media. Check out http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/ for some cool recordings and other resources. And I bet you've probably read Ginsbery already, but keep at it--your styles are similar, and studying what he did so well will help you hone your own voice.

Onto specifics: The line "I'm not claiming to be anything less than/rough edges" is so fantastic! It really feels like crux of your poem here, and I think it's so skillfully placed near the middle of the poem (I find that often happens unintentionally). I love the paradox of embracing the world between the tips of fingers, and the way that line at the beginning of your poem really captures (no pun intended) your intent. It's a very beautiful thing to think about. And at the end, the image of the dandelion seeds scattered was also very well done. 

In revision, I'd focus on including more of those skillful images I mentioned above.

Happy writing, and thanks again for your work.


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